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Storying Learning in Early Childhood

When Children Lead Participatory Curriculum Design, Implementation, and Assessment

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Elizabeth Quintero

Storying Learning in Early Childhood documents philosophical, research, and critical questions about notions of childrens’ experiences and learning potential that heavily influence the profession. Critically created, child-centered curriculum and assessment collaborations focus on contexts of homes, schools, and communities. This book brings into focus policy issues, economic issues, and political realities that affect us all as we engage in curriculum and assessment. Patterns of findings under the foci of critical, responsive curriculum and authentic assessment for all children have illustrated new questions, provoked new trajectories of informants, and reiterated connections to dynamic issues in early childhood internationally. The work involved in curriculum and assessment points to international discussions about what is «quality» in early care and education and who has the power to decide. These international dynamics highlight the inevitable connections among programs for young children, policies, and politics. Further consideration regarding multiple histories, strengths, and needs of young children also illustrate little-discussed refugees and migrating people around the world – and their children – who are growing and experiencing life wherever they are living in a variety of situations with or without support.
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Chapter 3. Complicated Conversations: What We’re Learning About Integrated Curriculum

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COMPLICATED CONVERSATIONS: WHAT WE’RE LEARNING ABOUT INTEGRATED CURRICULUM

Examples From the Complicated Conversations

It is important to reiterate here again that while the teacher education students participated in a listening, dialogue, action format framed by critical theory and Freire’s (1985, 1997) work in their university classes, the format they used to write their activity/curriculum plans was adapted from a template used by transitional kindergarten programs in the state of California. As with many educational lesson planning approaches the required components, the order of presentation, and the terminology is often approach-specific. Because these student teachers are working with children ages 4 to 8, the lessons and therefore the format for presenting them by necessity bridge the early childhood approaches and the early elementary approaches. There were timely contextual events that influenced the decision about this aspect of the study, as mentioned at the end of Chapter 2. We made the decision to use this format after many discussions and analyses regarding the possibilities of our including our focus on critical theory while using the state’s template for transitional kindergarten lesson planning. We decided (as bricoleurs) that we could use the format from the state of California transitional kindergarten’s recommendation while remaining true to our intentions for critical integrated curriculum. ← 49 | 50 → Furthermore, many of our collaborations are with early care and education professionals in the field who are in state-funded programs where teachers are required to adhere strictly to the California Preschool Learning Foundations...

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